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Arson and Arson Defences

If you are looking to learn about what defences are available for the criminal offence of arson, well then you’ve come to the right place. Below are some examples of available defences.

Definition of Arson

The criminal offence of arson generally refers to the act of a person intentionally or recklessly causing damage to property by fire or explosion. Depending on whether human life is endangered during the commission of the aforementioned criminal act, the penalty will attract up to a 14 year of term of imprisonment.

Other factors are also taken into consideration, such as:

  • pre-planning,
  • aggravating and mitigation elements,
  • level of destruction/damage,
  • person(s) harmed,
  • intention, and
  • the like,

for the court to arrive at an appropriate sentence if an accused is found guilty.

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, section 433 refers to the criminal offence of arson and states the following, for your ease of reference:

Arson — disregard for human life

Section 433 Every person who intentionally or recklessly causes damage by fire or explosion to property, whether or not that person owns the property, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life where

(a) the person knows that or is reckless with respect to whether the property is inhabited or occupied; or
(b) the fire or explosion causes bodily harm to another person.

Penalty for Arson

A conviction of the criminal offence of arson can attract the penalty of 5 up to 14 years of imprisonment.

Defences for Arson

It is important to keep in mind that the available defence depends entirely on the specific circumstances of one’s case and the evidence the Crown has against the accused.

  • Breach of Charter Rights
  • Breach of Procedural Rights
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • Right to Full Answer and Defence Impeded by the State
  • Right to Full Disclosure Impeded by the State
  • Defence of Necessity
  • Defence of Alibi
  • Defence of Duress
  • Defence of Mental Disorder
  • Defence of Mistaken Identity
  • Defence of Accident
  • Defence of Self-induced Intoxication
  • Failure of Crown to prove every element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt

Why Hire a Criminal Defence Lawyer?

As evidenced above, there is a list of potential defences that may be available to a person facing criminal charges of arson. This can mean the difference between your freedom or losing your liberty if found guilty. As such, it is not a circumstance to be taken lightly.

As your lawyer, we would learn about the facts of your case and share with you, which defences in our legal opinion may apply to your case. Once a defence(s) is identified, we then go to work for you. We gather evidence in your case and develop an effective defence strategy. We enter into meaningful negotiations with the Crown (referred to as a “Crown Pre-Trial”) and also where necessary, with a judge and a Crown (referred to as a (“Judicial Pre-Trial”) to try and get you the best resolution possible.

All information provided to us remains confidential. Your lawyer’s role is to protect you, advance your interests and advocate on your behalf. Armed with experience and knowledge of the law, our criminal defence lawyers are in a position to provide you with excellent legal representation.

If you are interested in learning about how our firm can assist you fight the charge(s) you are facing, then take advantage of our free 30-minute consultation to learn more. We have offices and meeting places around Ontario and are able to represent people in various courts. We also offer flat fee billing of our legal services, which our clients appreciate. We hope to hear from you soon.

Yasmine Al-Zaman

Yasmine’s patience, compassion and understanding allow her to work collaboratively and effectively with her clients. She appreciates the level of fear and confusion most people feel when confronted with the legal system. With that in mind, Yasmine puts her best foot forward to offer quality legal services.

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